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August 7, 2020

“The Lord will again comfort Zion.” Zechariah 1:17

The news out of Washington isn’t hopeful today. Well, I suppose one could write that sentence most mornings. Today, however, the news is that negotiations for a second stimulus package have stalled out. The speed with which the CARES Act was approved in March is nowhere to be found. I pray that wisdom and courage may be found by our elected leaders. There are those who need them to act, particularly the unemployed and those facing eviction. These people need our government’s help again, which is to say they need our help again (for what is the government if not that which is of us, the people?).

Perhaps our elected officials thought they wouldn’t have to do this again. The pandemic, it seems, has other ideas. The problems we face in this world don’t tend to go away. They change, grow, come back again. And we are called to help again.

In Zechariah’s day, God’s people had returned home from exile but that didn’t solve all of their problems. Jerusalem was in ruins and the Temple was destroyed. So, too, was their relationship with God in tatters. They needed a change of heart.

God did not demand, however, that this change of heart occur before God would help and comfort them again. The little snippet of 1:17 that is included in the Daily Texts today makes it plain: The Lord will again comfort Zion. Again. While human sin and suffering repeat and return, so does God’s loving desire to comfort and restore us.

Whatever our elected officials do or fail to do, the Lord remains good. God will comfort us again. God does so today, particularly through Christ Jesus, the One who has answered our deepest needs once and for all through his death and resurrection. In this promise, our hope is secure. On that solid ground, we can help those in need both through the government and through our own acts of compassion. Let’s help one another, again and again.

Be well, friends. You are loved.

God of comfort, our world cries out in pain and need. We are anxious, and our worry makes us selfish. Comfort us with the promise of the gospel, and open our hearts to one another. May we help one another today. May we do so again tomorrow. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: The east front of the U.S. Capitol, by Martin Falbisoner, September 2, 2013, used with permission.

From → COVID-19

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